The Strength Training You Need to Become a Better All-Around Athlete
These Peloton classes can maximize your power output potential on the Bike and Tread.
By Team Peloton•
January 29, 2021
The Peloton App is a treasure trove of fitness discovery. With disciplines spanning strength training, Pilates, yoga, HIIT cardio, stretching and beyond, the avenues your workout journey (and daily stack) can take are endless. You might have purchased your Peloton hardware with the intention of committing yourself to cycling, running or bootcamp workouts, but the disciplines you’ll discover on the app aren’t subsidiary in any way to your cardio workouts; they’re essential to building you into the best athlete you can be on that Bike or Tread.
While our Peloton instructors all have their own personal philosophies regarding fitness routines, they agree on one thing: You’ll want to make sure you’re getting a good mix of strength and cardio training throughout the week. “Cardio exercise helps improve your body’s ability to deliver blood and oxygen to your muscles, strengthening your heart and lungs,” says U.K. strength and cycling instructor, Ben Alldis. “Strength training, on the other hand, helps you build muscles that support you in your everyday life and boost your metabolism.” The benefits are reciprocal—not only does weight training strengthen your cycling and running (and vice versa), it also builds you up to tackle those functional, day-to-day movements.
Including strength workouts in your routine optimizes all the ways your body can output power, including “improved overall cardio capacity, learning how to work hard under fatigue, increasing your fitness level and building strength,” says Tread and strength instructor Rebecca Kennedy, who is passionate about strength training with both dumbbells and body weight. Ben agrees, adding that “a healthy combination of strength and cardio training will allow your body to perform at its best, letting the two systems complement each other rather than compete.”
Let’s take a closer look at some of the strength workouts you can tap into on the Peloton App, and how they’ll get you ready to rise up that Leaderboard on your Bike or Tread.
With no equipment needed aside from yourself and a mat, Peloton Pilates is all about training your body to be resilient and approach any athletic endeavor with tip-top form. Just ask cycling and Pilates instructor Emma Lovewell. “In Pilates we learn how to move our body better, and because of the strong emphasis on core strength, I find it helps in all other activities I do. Having a strong core makes me a better runner, dancer, swimmer, cyclist, yogi, you name it. Each move is meant to improve your strength as well as your balance, coordination and flexibility.”
Strength for Runners
We stand behind our strength training philosophy so much so that we’ve created a dedicated class type just for runners. “Stronger leg muscles can deliver more power when running,” says Tread and strength instructor Becs Gentry, “and strengthening connective tissues like tendons and ligaments can make you less prone to overuse strain by minimizing stress of the bones, ligaments, tendons or cartilage.” In our Strength for Runners classes you’ll practice unilateral movements (working one side of your body at a time) as well as upper body exercises, which runners often ignore. Don’t be surprised when you feel like you’re flying next time you hit the Tread!
As far as cross-training goes, Peloton Barre is downright fun. These classes are full of small-range movements, pulses and isometric holds, all choreographed to the beat of the music. “In order to supplement [your running and cycling workouts] and get stronger, you want to make sure you’re working in all planes of motion,” says cycling and barre instructor Ally Love. “Your body is multifaceted, so you want to treat your workouts that way as well.” That means moving sideways, diagonally, twisting and turning.
“The dynamism of barre challenges your body in new ways by isolating and training small muscles that are often overlooked,” adds cycling and barre instructor Hannah Corbin. In turn, when you jump on the Bike or Tread, “you'll find new levels of endurance and strength that you never would achieve by just riding or running alone.” Count us in.
In various classes, you’ll hear your Peloton instructors say it a million times: Time under tension gets you stronger. Step into the world of resistance band training, where this philosophy takes center stage from start to finish. Tread and strength instructor Andy Speer explains that a resistance band becomes heavier as you pull it taut, challenging you to maintain the speed and power with which you execute a movement through its complete range of motion. “This trains muscular endurance, a quality challenged in steady-state classes on the Bike or Tread where it feels like you never get a break until it's over!” Andy says. Another benefit? Resistance band training focuses on upper back and postural muscles, which endurance runners especially need to maintain strong posture during long runs.
“Yoga helps runners with recovery; boosts performance; strengthens their mental game; helps with breathing more efficiently; builds upper-body strength (which some runners neglect); opens up tight hips, quads and hamstrings; and builds core strength,” says Peloton Yoga and Pilates instructor Kristin McGee. Whew. Need we say more? If you don’t view yoga as a strength builder, we challenge you to our Power Yoga and Slow Flow classes, which are a low-impact way to simultaneously strengthen and lengthen those overused cycling and running muscles.
Ready to get stronger together? We thought so! Download the Peloton App on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore or Roku and let's get started.